The Garmin Forerunner 35 is the successor to the Forerunner 25 and adds a built-in HR monitor, which allows you to get heart rate data without having to wear a chest strap.
More than just an activity tracker, you can pair your smartphone with the Forerunner 35 to get notifications from your phone on the device itself. You would also need to pair your phone for the Live Tracking feature. Otherwise, the Forerunner 35 can pretty much function on its own.
Meanwhile, the Garmin Forerunner 235 takes everything that you like about the Garmin Forerunner, yet adds some more capabilities that you wished the earlier model offered. Additional features include GLONASS, a better display resolution, more detailed running and fitness metrics, as well as the ability to customize watch faces.
Main Differences Between Garmin Forerunner 35 vs Garmin Forerunner 235
The main differences between Garmin Forerunner 35 vs Garmin Forerunner 235 are:
- Garmin Forerunner 35 has a black and white display, whereas Garmin Forerunner 235 has a colorful display.
- Garmin Forerunner 35 has a square design, whereas Garmin Forerunner 235 has a round design.
- Garmin Forerunner 35 has a longer lasting battery life (up to 13 hours), whereas Garmin Forerunner 235 has a shorter battery life (up to 11 hours)
Garmin Forerunner 35
Smart notifications and a transflective memory in pixel display.
It’s thicker but lighter on your wrist.
It has three sensors to help you monitor your activity, heart rate and a accelerometer.
Garmin Forerunner 235
Has all the Forerunner 35 features, plus calendar and VIRB Camera Remote.
It has a more delicate design but it’s heavier.
It has a more complete tracking sensor system. So the data is more accurate.
Garmin Forerunner 35 vs Garmin Forerunner 235: Battle of the Square and the Round Garmin Forerunners
Coming from the same series, the
- Garmin Forerunner 645 (Black) Running GPS Bundle | Includes HD Screen Protectors (x2) & PlayBetter Portable USB Charger | Running GPS Watch, Wrist Heart Rate, Garmin Pay
- Garmin Forerunner 645 Music, GPS Running Watch With Pay Contactless Payments, Wrist-Based Heart Rate And Music, Black
But let us focus on the
Design and dimensions
The Garmin Forerunner 235 has chemically strengthened glass lens and silicone strap. The round sportswatch measures 45 mm in diameter and has a thickness of 11.7 mm. Even so, it is very light at only 42 grams.
This gadget has a transflective memory in pixel display that you can easily see even under direct sunlight. The color display has a resolution of 215 pixels by 180 pixels and measures 1.23 inches.
The display is made of the same transflective memory in pixel material, but it has a smaller display size at 0.93 inches with resolutions of 128 pixels by 128 pixels.
You can store up to 200 hours of activity data with the Forerunner 235, whereas you can only keep up to seven activities with the Forerunner 35.
|Chemically strengthened glass||Yes||Yes|
|Dimensions (mm)||45 x 45 x 11.7||35.5 x 40.7 x 13.3|
|Water rating||5 ATM||5 ATM|
|Transflective memory-in-pixel display||Yes||Yes|
|Display size (inches)||1.23||0.93|
|Display resolution (pixels)||215 x 180||128 x 128|
|Memory/History||200 hours of activity data||7 activities|
Maximum battery life
The Garmin Forerunner 235 uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery that lasts up to nine days when used as a smartwatch, and gives you 11 hours of power when the GPS is turned on.
|Smartwatch Mode||9 days||9 days|
|GPS mode||11 hours||13 hours|
Both of these sports watches deliver the same timekeeping functions: time and date display, GPS time synchronization, automatic adjustment to daylight saving time, alarm clock, and stopwatch.
|Controls smartphone music||Yes||Yes|
|Find My Phone||Yes||Yes|
|VIRB® Camera Remote||Yes||No|
|Compatible with iPhones||Yes||Yes|
|Compatible with Android devices||Yes||Yes|
|Compatible with Garmin Connect Mobile||Yes||Yes|
The Garmin Forerunner 35 has three sensors to help it do its job: GPS, a heart rate monitor, and an accelerometer.
The Forerunner 235, on the other hand, has GLONASS to augment its GPS location sensors, making it more accurate and faster when it comes to pinpointing locations.
|Garmin Elevate™ wrist heart rate monitor||Yes||Yes|
Using these sensors, both the Forerunner 35 and 235 can count your steps, monitor your sleep quality, and estimate the number of calories you burned. It can also measure the distance traveled and the intensity of minutes, as well as determine how long you were doing either moderate or vigorous exercise.
Both can remind you to get up and exercise with the moving bar. Additionally, these Forerunners can learn your behavior and give you a daily step goal.
Heart rate features
The Forerunner 35 and 235 share the same heart rate features, giving you your HR zones, alerts, and calories. But with the Forerunner 235, you can also get your recovery time.
Training and analysis
Both the Forerunner 235 and 35 can use GPS to analyze your speed and see the distance you have traveled. You can also get your laps automatically or manually set. And you can get a V02 max estimate.
To make it easier for you to get the data you need, you can customize the data pages and activity profiles according to what exercises you do the most. Other tracking and analysis features offered by both 235 and 35 include Auto Pause, interval training, audio prompts, LiveTrack, and activity history that you can view on the watch itself.
|Model||Garmin Forerunner 35 Watch, Black (Renewed)||Forerunner 235|
|GPS speed and distance||Yes||Yes|
|Customizable data pages||Yes||Yes|
|Customizable activity profiles||Yes||Yes|
|Activity history on watch||Yes||Yes|
|Downloadable training plans||No||Yes|
|Aerobic training effect||No||Yes|
You get preloaded run and cycle profiles with both the Forerunner 235 and 35.
The Forerunner 35 has preloaded cardio training profiles, while the 235 has outdoor recreation features.
While both the Garmin Forerunner 35 Watch, Frost Blue (Renewed) and the
POLAR M430 GPS Running Watch, Black (90066335),Medium/Large and POLAR M600 Smart Sports Watch/Fitness Watch, Black are very popular options for runners. The M430 has accurate location tracking, great battery life, heart rate and sleep tracking, and several other fitness tracking data. However, it is very simple to use and very affordable at $200. The M600 pretty much keeps what you would have liked about the M430, but added Android Wear capabilities to it.
You may also want to consider the TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor + 3GB Music + Bluetooth Headphones (Black, Large), which has multiple sports mode, a built-in heart rate monitor, personalized workouts, a music player, and GPS location tracking.
Of course, you do not have to look very far, too, with the Garmin Forerunner 935. This model is very comfortable that you could easily forget that you are wearing anything on your wrist. It has multi-sports tracking and it can be worn while swimming, making it the perfect device for triathletes. It offers you fast and accurate location tracking and a wonderfully long battery life. One charge can keep the device working for two weeks as a smartwatch, and for 24 hours if the GPS is turned on.
Another device from Garmin that you should consider is the Garmin vívosmart HR+ Regular Fit Activity Tracker - Black, which boasts a very rugged design, a long-lasting battery, an e-ink touch screen, and all the sensors you need for the fitness tracking, all packed in a very compact and water-resistant device.
You should also check out the Garmin Forerunner 735XT and the Garmin Fenix 5.
Final Say: Garmin Forerunner 35 vs 235
For those who are serious about their fitness or for runners who are looking for a sports watch that could help with their training, the obvious choice would be the
While it does not have the Forerunner 35’s Virtual Pacer feature, it more than makes up for with the VO2 max estimate, the recovery advisor, and the race predictor. The Forerunner 235 also has more training features such as auto-scrolling through various data pages, advanced workouts, and pace alerts.
However, for those who are looking for something more wallet-friendly, the Forerunner 35 will still prove to be a very capable GPS running watch.
Bottom Line: Unless you are very price conscious, I highly recommend going with the best in class Forerunner 235 available here.
Where to Buy The Forerunner 235
When I went to purchase, there were a few places I check for deals:
- Garmin.com: Garmin now sells directly to consumers, so I ended up purchasing my 235 here and cut out the middleman.
FAQ’s About Garmin Forerunner 35 vs 235
You can get text messages on your Garmin Forerunner 35 if it’s connected with your smartphone. The easiest way to adjust the settings for these notifications is to go to Settings and click on Smart Notifications.
Not really. The Garmin Forerunner 235 shows call or message notification on display, but you cannot answer a call or text unless you are using an Android device.
Unlike other smartwatches that are waterproof from 30-50m, the Garmin Forerunner 35 and 235 are water-resistant on 50m which means that you can swim and perform water activities with it knowing that it’s secured.
Further Reading on Running Watches
Check out the following articles on fitness and athletic trackers if you are interested: